Six days ago I snuck out of town and headed up to the Missouri for a 5 day stint with Jin, Mike and the rest of the crew who join us each year in Craig. While it was hard to leave the Madison River and it’s dry fly madness, I knew that the Missouri would fish as it dropped down from 22,000 cfs. The Canyon really hadn’t been touched by other anglers as the flows had been just too fast in there. Some where floating it, but not many. We floated from top to bottom and had great fishing the entire way.
The lower reaches of the Missouri have changed quite a bit once the river hit 22K at Holter Dam. There are new islands, different gravel bars, all leading to new holding water for trout. It was incredible to see how much bank, actual earth and grass, had fallen in to the river from the big flows over the past month. Once this drops another 3 feet, more new trout habitat will be revealed. This is what Charlie Brooks meant by a “Living River”, when he wrote about the Madison.
Brothers Mike and Eric got a chance to fish together in Montana. Hailing from Hawaii, Mike has spent several years fishing with us on the Missouri and convinced his brother to join him this season……he was not disapointed. The Missouri is nymphing like a champ with crayfish, olive buggers, sally nymphs, pmd nymphs and caddis. Most of the time, Greg and I were fihsing 6-8 feet to the shot and only moving the bobber for specific deep holes. On the last day of the trip, my boat had hooked over 30 fish by lunch and Greg’s boat was the same. While nymphing is not for everyone and I would rather catch’em on dries, this was red hot fishing. There are some died in the wool dry fly anglers around, but making a day of it right now is hard. The evenings were best and there were trout up from about 6:30 till dark….not many…..tucked in the back eddies and under the willows. Some big ones too.
This Missouri trip was my last of the summer season and I won’t head up there until late Oct. Greg Falls will be on the Missouri for the rest of summer guiding for Big Sky Anglers and Headhunters Fly Shop. For up to date reports on the Missouri, please feel free to shoot us an email, as Greg and I talk on a weekly basis.